*Pssst! Hey copper…got a sec? I hope you don’t mind, but I can tell from your fresh, shiny features that you’re just getting started. Are you from “Mile High” or “Philly” mint? I’m an old copper myself – a little tarnished, but I still know what’s going on.
For instance, have you noticed all the advertisements that read a-dollar-ninety-nine this or a-dollar ninety-nine that, or the many TV commercials advertising products “not found in stores” for just nineteen-ninety-nine? My question is: what happened to that one penny that could have made it “twenty”!? I’ll tell you what happened…it got ambushed!
Too often some pennies get stacked up and just when the lot is about to turn their value into a dollar, the last penny gets it…wham!! What’s that all about, huh!?
Instead of saying a-dollar-ninety-nine, how come they won’t just say two-dollars? Why don’t they at least once in a while say two-dollars-and-one-cent so the other ninety-nine can get whacked? Then it wouldn’t look so political – like it’s a conspiracy or something, because it’s always that one penny!
And while I’m speaking about TV, wouldn’t it save airtime by saying the two-syllable word “twen-ty” instead of the five-syllable “nine-teen-nine-ty-nine”? It’s stupid! Think about it! Those infomercials repeat at least ten times “…and if you call right now you can get all this for only nineteen-ninety-nine!” TV airtime is expensive, and advertisers could save at least ten seconds if they’d just say “twen-ty” …just two syllables; “twenn-tee!”
That’s the penny politics: ambush the one penny and you don’t have to make the other ninety-nine whole. It devalues the whole lot, and that practice needs to stop.
President Lincoln once spoke on conflicted legacy and equality. The penny on its own is whole – a whole penny. These days when collective pennies come together to become accepted as a dollar, some introductory offer, or super sale is always lurking to make sure it doesn’t happen, and ninety-nine won’t do. Let that penny make a dollar! Make the lot whole!
Well, that’s pretty much all I had to say. Overall I’ve been pretty lucky. At least I’m still in circulation and not stored up in some old jar somewhere waiting for that rainy day like some of our other fellow coppers. I’m sure we’ll have an exchange again soon. In the meantime, keep your head up and watch your tail!
WRITER’S NOTE: from the beginning of the title to the last word of this article, the word count is 399. Sorry copper!
Larry Buford is a Los Angeles-based freelance writer. Author of the Book/CD titled “Things Are Gettin’ Outta Hand,” and his latest release “Book To The Future” from which this allegory was taken, now on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Contact: [email protected]